The Lakers will definitely trade Jalen Hood-Schifino
The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and in classic fan fashion, the fanbase instantly hyped him up upon his arrival. To be fair, Hood-Schifino has the makings of a great skill set that could lead him to be a better version of Talen Horton-Tucker.
But once again, Lakers fans were reminded that it is really hard for a 19-year-old who was picked outside of the lottery to make a difference in his first year. That task is even tougher to do when he is on a contending team and the minutes are sparse.
Hood-Schifino still has value and he one day could blossom into a solid rotation player. That is just not going to happen this year and might not even happen over the next two years on the Lakers. Thus, it makes more sense to trade him while his value is high than have him wither away on the bench.
The Lakers do not have much to trade in terms of draft capital so there is no denying that the front office is going to dangle Hood-Schifino in trade packages. Instead of trading a protected first-round pick, LA would be far better off trading JHS now for a player who can help the team.
The timelines simply do not line up if the Lakers wanted someone who could make an impact in year one they would not have taken a 19-year-old guard. They would have taken an older prospect like Jamie Jaquez Jr. With the team's bed already made, the best course of action is to trade JHS for an upgrade in the rotation.